Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Our busiest weeknight schedule since the college openers begins tonight with FOUR games on the card…followed by FOUR MORE on Friday. There are some important and interesting games in the mix. Particularly Thursday night’s huge college attraction matching #18 UCLA and #15 Stanford.
As always, games are presented in Nevada rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules.
ATLANTA AT NEW ORLEANS (on CBS): We’ve seen a solid Atlanta by 3.5 all week. Obviously if sharps wanted the Saints they would have acted by now just above the key number of three. But, there isn’t enough passion for the favorite to lay the price in a meaningful way either. The public might take a TV home dog since they usually like betting on Drew Brees. A low interest betting game to this point. Atlanta would get hit very hard at -3, so it would be a surprise if the number fell there. The Over/Under is 51.5, projecting a shootout with vulnerable defenses.
AUBURN AT KENTUCKY (on ESPN): Auburn opened at -2. Some stores are testing Auburn -2.5. to see if that gets any nibbles. I can assure you that sharps aren’t looking to back Auburn here. That team has been awful this season, missing early projections by a mile. My sources are saying sharp money is lying in wait on the Wildcats. It may have to settle for +2. The total is up a bit from 51 to 52.
WESTERN KENTUCKY AT NORTH TEXAS (on CBS Sports Network): Big move on Western Kentucky, as an opener of 29.5 has been bet all the way up to -33. Most market followers know that North Texas was slaughtered on this field last week by Portland State. How are they going to compete with Western Kentucky?! Sharps loved the favorites at anything below -32.5. Oddsmakers are just trying to find a price that will cause WKU interest to peter out. There’s not really a number that would inspire investment in the ugly home dog. The total is up from 68 to 70.5 because quants expect Western Kentucky to move at will.
UCLA AT STANFORD (on ESPN): The opener of Stanford -5 was bet up fairly quickly. We’re now positioned to have a potential tug-of-war between Stanford -6.5 and UCLA +7. The sharps still respect young quarterback Josh Rosen enough to invest at the key number. Stanford money got in early. UCLA money shows up at the seven. Sportsbooks are hoping the game doesn’t land on six! Not much interest yet on the Over/Under.
CINCINNATI AT BYU (on ESPN): Similar story here to UCLA/Stanford. The home favorite opened at -5.5 and was bet up initially. We’re now seeing BYU -6.5 in most stores because Cincinnati money would hit hard at +7. It may not get that high because oddsmakers know what’s coming on the key number. The Over/Under has skyrocketed from 61 to 66. A bad opener was exploited very quickly by the quants. Cincinnati tends to play shootouts. BYU’s offense has the talent to score on soft defenses.
HOUSTON AT TULANE (on ESPNU): Big move here on Houston from an opener of -16.5 to -19. Some stores are testing -19.5. The key number of 17 was already blown through…and now 20 may be in play by kickoff. It’s now better understood in the marketplace that last year’s Ohio State offensive coordinator is Houston’s new head coach. That’s why OSU’s struggling so badly vs. expectations while Houston is getting respect. That combined with the injury to Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee has created this big move. The Over/Under has dropped from 65 to 60 because Tulane’s offense is likely to struggle badly. Quants expect Houston to run clock with a big lead in a conference game.
BOISE STATE AT UTAH STATE (on CBS Sports Network): An opener of Boise State -9.5 has largely stood pat. Stores testing -10 see home dog money come in aggressively. We’ll either have a tug-of-war between Boise -9.5 and Utah State +10…or the game will sit just below the key number until kickoff. Depends on how active the public gets between now and then. The total is up from 48 to 49.5.
UNLV AT FRESNO STATE (on ESPN2): Look at the market respect for the Runnin’ Rebels! It’s great to have a local team sports bettors can root for. UNLV opened at -3, and has been bet up to -6.5. Now, obviously, that move is more about the quarterback situation at Fresno. Quarterbacks Chason Virgil and Ford Childress are out for the season. Will the line make it to seven? Could happen…because Fresno has looked helpless on offense all season no matter who the quarterback was. For longtime Vegas football people, it’s almost impossible to imagine that the Rebels would be a ROAD favorite of this size over a perennial regional power like Fresno State. The total has been bet down from 55 to 53.5.
My top plays in all sports are always available for credit card purchase here at the website. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to check on combination packages that include football and the rest of the baseball playoffs. There are so many betting industry people with roots in Chicago…Vegas is going crazy over the Cubs!
Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow with a look at all the marquee college matchups on Saturday.
Be sure to follow:
Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters